Straight Outta Akron: A Gulf Spill Solution?

Akron is full of entrepreneurs. Some do their work out in the open, others operate on the fringes. My old friend Jim Rauh exists somewhere in between, so when he first talked to me about his latest brainchild, I was a little skeptical. Basically, it goes something like this…

A certain company’s manufacturing process generates a fair amount of byproduct – a highly absorbent, cross-linked foam material. According to Jim, this stuff is completely non-toxic and non-hazardous.

But more to the point – e.g. The Gulf – it absorbs 20 times its weight in oil. It also absorbs water, of course, but that water is displaced as the material comes into contact with oil. And the absorbed oil can be used as fuel or possibly extricated and reused.

So why am I turning into a believer? I’ll blame this youtube video that Jim made with his son, Teddy. Granted, it’s not exactly Shamwow-quality, but I think it gets the point across fairly well…

Desperate times, desperate measures… Someone tell me why this won’t work. Jim sent the video to BP and the office of Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown. Stay tuned for updates!

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5 thoughts on “Straight Outta Akron: A Gulf Spill Solution?

  • Julie, 27 May 1:48 am

    TIM! Thank you for this video…I’ve got it up on my Facebook page with a plea to everyone to make sure they share it with everyone they know…and every politician! This Gulf situation is so desperate and so hideous….we must get this video to go viral…or postal or whatever it is…just seems like things are moving waaay too slowly down there, and still such denial….(We missed you when Sara was here….she says they SMELLED it just 4 or 5 days after the explosion, and yet there are those who don’t believe they will be affected…even smart folks we know who have property in Key West….Huh?)

  • Christian from Albuquerque, 27 May 11:27 am

    I imagine the government or contractor companies would be reluctant to use a product they didn’t develop or test themselves, at least initially. However, the idea seems promising and I hope they’re sending out feelers to companies and academics whose work is focused on oil spill clean up as well. Also, patent their idea if they can! Cool stuff.

  • admin, 27 May 1:12 pm

    I think he got the patent taken care of yesterday… I’m amazed at how much technology goes into drilling and how little is devoted to cleanup. This approach seems to work better than anything they’ve tried so far.

  • Julie Horn, 28 May 1:59 pm

    Considering they were showing pix of people in little boats trying to “wipe up” the oil with what looked like paper towels yesterday, or with shovels and plastic trash bags this morning, uhhhh…I think this should be a top priority!

  • RObert, 01 June 1:01 pm

    Here is a company that can make large foam products. http://www.flotec.com/ by Deep Down Inc
    A world leader in large foam production for ocean services.

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